Featured Instructors

Kaitlin Hopkins – Texas State University

Kaitlin Hopkins is an award-winning actress, director, producer, and educator and has worked in theater, film, and television for over 30 years. In 2009 she created and the BFA Musical Theatre program at Texas State University, currently ranked in the top 10 musical theatre programs in the nation. Hopkins teaches master classes and works as a consultant all over the world. In addition, she is the Co-Founder of Living Mental Wellness, a holistic evidence-based company that offers educational programs to enhance mental wellness for performing artists through an integrated scientific life skills model.

Kevin Covert – Shenandoah Conservatory

As a Performer, Kevin has been seen in the Original Broadway casts of Monty Python’s Spamalot (Sir Not Appearing), Memphis (Buck Wiley and Martin Holton; Fred Astaire Nominee- Best Dancer on Broadway 2010), and the most recent hit revival of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (Mr. Johnson/TV Announcer) starring Daniel Radcliffe, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas. Kevin can be heard on the Original Cast Recordings of all three Tony Award winning shows. In addition to being a Broadway actor/singer/dancer, Kevin also serves as one of Tony Award Winner Christopher Gattelli’s (Newsies) associates. Kevin is the proud Director of Musical Theatre and an Associate Professor of Theatre at Shenandoah University, where the MT program is regarded as one of the Top 10 in the US.

Mandy Jiran – University of Oklahoma

Associate Professor of Voice in the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at the University of Oklahoma, Mandy Jiran is an active teacher, music director, and performer. She’s had the privilege of working with students that have gone on to Broadway, National Tours, Regional and stock theatres all over the country. Mandy’s professional credits include Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, Casa Mañana, Great Plains Theatre Festival, and the Main St. Theatre. She is a frequent soloist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, most recently co-starring with Tony nominee, Max Von Essen in the Philharmonic’s The Christmas Show. Her music director credits include Legally Blonde and A Christmas Carol at the University of Oklahoma and numerous productions at the Sooner Theatre and Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy. She has presented musical theatre workshops and master classes at the Orange County School of the Arts, Washington Thespians, Moonifieds, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Seth Gordon – University of Oklahoma

Seth Gordon is in his third year as Director of the Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma. Previously, he served as Associate Artistic Director at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Cleveland Play House, and Associate Producer at Primary Stages in New York. He has directed plays at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, AK, Shakespeare and Company in Massachusetts, Syracuse Stage, the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, the St. Lou Fringe Festival, Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, American Stage in Florida, and in New York, at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theatre of the New City, and countless other places.

Earl Weaver – University of Central Florida

Earl D. Weaver is the Coordinator of Musical Theatre and a tenured Associate Professor for the School of Performing Arts Theatre Department at UCF. He is an active member of Actors’ Equity Association. Earl holds an MFA degree in Drama/Musical Theatre from the University of California, Irvine and a BA degree in Theatre/Dance from the University of Redlands. He has taught in secondary and higher education for more than 40 years.

Ashlea Sovetts – Professional Choreographer

Ashlea Sovetts, a native from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a multifaceted dance artist who is able to flow between a variety of different roles. Primarily, her work centers around choreography, dance in higher education and arts administration. She is the Program Manager for the Staibdance summer intensive in Sorrento, Italy and is on faculty at Columbia College in Columbia, SC. Ashlea received the Emerging Artist Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Artist Project Support Grant to develop the work 10 Recalling-20 with collaborator Alexandria Nunweiler. 10 Recalling-20 was nominated for a “Philly Fringie”, an audience choice award for the ‘dance’ category for best performance in Philadelphia, PA. Previously, Ashlea was the Recruitment Coordinator for the Department of Dance at Texas Woman’s University and worked first hand with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students where she aided in student advising, auditions and applications. Ashlea, graduated Cum Laude from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Dance as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University.

Vahn Phollurxa – Professional Actor, Voice Coach, Accompanist

Vahn Phollurxa is a graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BFA in Musical Theater. Vahn has collaborated in musical theatre on stage as an actor, as a music director, audition pianist and as a conductor for both band or orchestral pits. He has worked in various states all around but most work done in the states New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. During college, Vahn would work at various schools, summer stocks and theatre companies to hone music direction and accompanist skills. The last show count was above 76 productions behind the piano and 47 productions on stage. After graduating college, Vahn moved to New York where he went on a three year journey to do the musical Miss Saigon in multiple states as the role “Thuy”. Post Saigon, music direction and vocal coaching became the focus of work. With the skill sets on stage as a vocalist and as a music director as well as an accompanist, Vahn now runs a private vocal studio where the focus is to help artists find their authentic voice and share their voice with the world through knowledge and training in musical theatre and pop technique.

Shannon Wagar – Fourth Wall College Consulting

Shannon Wagar started her college admissions advisor journey many years ago by volunteering at her local high school, helping hundreds of students every year get access to the information they needed for college admissions & applications. She now owns Fourth Wall Consulting. She graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Business Management. She completed her IEC certification from University of California, Irvine. Shannon is a member of the IECA and SACAC organizations, and visits more than two dozen college campuses every year.

Holly Johnson – Fourth Wall College Consulting

Holly joined Fourth Wall after ten years in college admissions, where she specialized in working with young performing artists and their families, as well as executing recruitment and audition events. With a focus on the unique abilities and strengths of each student, Holly is passionate about helping families navigate the college search and application process, as well as educating communities about access to higher education. Originally from Binghamton, NY, Holly holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (percussion) from Shenandoah Conservatory as well as a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Shenandoah University.

Riley Madlock – Professional Choreography

Riley has a Master of Arts in Teaching Dance from New Mexico State University and a BA in Mass Communications from Ouachita Baptist University. She was adjunct dance faculty at NMSU, co-founder/director of the NMSU Hip Hop company, graduate assistant teaching collegiate ballet and modern, and organizer/creative designer for all NMSU dance performances. Riley danced with Henderson State University Dance Company for three years and NMSU Contemporary Dance Theatre for two years. Riley has choreographed for drill and dance teams around the state of Texas. Her choreography has won numerous awards and been adjudicated at four different American College Dance Association conferences around the south.

Participating Colleges and Programs

  • Texas State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Central Florida
  • Shenandoah Conservatory
  • Ithaca College
  • Oklahoma City University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • PACE University
  • Webster Conservatory
  • Fourth Wall Consulting